Did you know that the Designs Act in Australia now has a 12-month grace period? 

From March 2022, the new amendment provides a safeguard against unintended public disclosure of your design. Before the amendment, as soon as your design was disclosed to the public, you were prevented from registering the design for that product.

This new grace period allows registered designs filed or disclosed on or after March 2022 to be disregarded from the prior art base when assessing whether the design is new and distinctive.

These changes affect section 17 of the Designs Act 2003 (Cth), and refer to the commencement of Schedule 1 to the Designs Amendment (Advisory Council on Intellectual Property Response) Act 2021.

It’s important to note that this grace period differs from the one under the Patents Act, as it does not cover publications by IP offices. To ensure your design or patent is protected, it’s best practice to file an application before disclosing it, but if not, this grace period is a real saviour!

Contact Rankin Business Lawyers for practical, on-point commercial legal guidance.

Nicole Wolf
Law Student